Google Scholar

You should all be familiar with the various options Google Scholar offers. There is a useful help page with searching tips you may find useful.

As Google keeps on improving what it offers in its quest to control much of bit-space it is well worth keeping an eye on the Google Scholar blog.

Google does a fair job keeping track of academic publications of all sorts, even those that have not been published. If something gets cited, it will generally be picked up and added to the database. There are advanced options available to help you narrow your searches. Your search may also pull up a book or two. If the book has been digitised by Google you can then use Google books to find the text or ideas of interest.

Google also tracks citations, that is papers that cite or reference the paper or book. So if you find an article or book of interest, it is often worth having a look at the papers or books that have cited the paper or book. Papers or books that cite a paper are not necessarily in agreement with the previous publication. These can sometimes help you map the opposing ideas/arguments to your interest, an important thing to do. One day a good deal of this tedious sleuthing will be automated!

The alerts function is also handy and a good deal less noisy than the general Google alerts.

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